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Marriage & Bipolar Disorder

A Few Sage Words

By Hummingbird

Updated August 05, 2008

How do you know when it is the right time to get married? What is a good reason to get married – a reason beyond the love? How can you be sure you are with the right person? Can a marriage succeed when bipolar disorder is in the mix? These are questions voiced by many. In a discussion about this in our Forums, user Hummingbird responded with some sage advice and wonderfully encouraging words for anyone considering marriage, but for those with bipolar disorder in particular.

“I am now in my 50s and am so happy in this marriage. We’ve been together for over five years now. All of my previous marriages, or live-in relationships were based on sex only. Usually, I was manic and attracted all the wrong kinds of men. They loved me when I was up, but were not around when I was down. This time I met my husband when I was at my lowest. He was there all the time, first as a friend. I think that was the healthiest way to start out - sharing as friends, later 'falling in love'.

“I am calmer now, stable on the right meds. He is there for me through the bad times and the good. He seems to instinctively be able to take over as 'caregiver' when I need that. He can be a partner too, and an incredible lover as well. He has learned all about this illness, read every book he could, goes to pdoc appointments with me, has become a part of everything to do with this illness. I don't think that you should get married anytime you consistently have doubts. I was afraid and he understood, held me and made me feel safe. Our marriage is one of respect for each other, nurturing each other.

“Before getting married, you need to understand yourself, which is why (especially for those with bipolar disorder) you need to take your time. It is not an easy road for the spouse of a BPer. Your spouse needs to know that some of this isn't fun! He needs to know that this is a potentially fatal illness, a very serious situation. When she marries you, there may be some very difficult times.

“My marriage feels right. I feel safe and secure, loved and nurtured. So does he. We both have the same values and NEVER have secrets that might damage our relationship. We went into this with our eyes open, revealing our deepest secrets BEFORE the marriage ceremony. We do not blame each other for anything. We trust each other and believe that this is forever. We will fight for our marriage. I pray that I live a long time so that we can experience this feeling for many years to come. There is calmness to what we have, not the constant fears I had in the past. I am where I belong.”

Hummingbird may seem just lucky, but she went through a lot before finding the right man, and had learned from her experiences with past relationships that didn't work out. Those of us who are single can learn from her.

If you are already married or in a committed relationship, explore the articles below for insights and advice for both you and your loved ones.

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